I woke up this morning at 4:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. Today is closing day. I’m Kevin, my wife is Cathy, and as of today we own the Broughton Street House. It’s been a long journey of searching, researching, and preparing.
In preparation for closing I packed up our travel trailer and headed to Savannah Monday. I can work remote, which meant I was able to get some driving in during the day, stopping roadside for conference calls and video meetings. It’s usually a 4 hour drive from Atlanta to Savannah, but it took me 7 due to the frequent stops and lower speed that I drive with the trailer.
Overnight in Fort McAllister
Cathy booked me a site at Fort McAllister State Park. It’s close to Savannah, but across the Ogeechee river so you actually have to drive a circuitous route to get there from downtown. I didn’t arrive until after dark, so I set up camp and did some work without exploring.
, I woke up at 4:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Closing was scheduled for 1:00 pm, and I had some work deliverables as well, so I got started. Around 6:30 I decided to head into Richmond Hill to find breakfast. On the way out I saw this marina with the sun coming up.
A Quick Closing and We Own the Broughton Street House!
After breakfast I went back to the trailer and worked a bit waiting for time for the close. Cathy drive separately and arrived at the walk through at lunch time, so we met there and did our final walk through. Then, it was over to McNamara & Adams to sign the mountain of paperwork. The loan was in order (Thanks, Ron!) and the closing itself went really fast. By 1:45 we were done and the proud owners of this amazing historic home!
Cathy had to head back to Atlanta to make sure the kids were good, but I stayed the week and prepared for our first guests. Nothing major, as the house was in great shape, just making sure the new internet service was working, setting up all the televisions with the new accounts, and going through all the kitchen drawers and such to be sure there are plenty of corkscrews and coffee mugs (I promise, as of today there are PLENTY!)
We are very proud to own the Broughton Street House! Now we can’t wait to share it with you.
The Broughton Street House is in downtown Savannah. When I vacation in Savannah I want coffee. Coffee is important to me.
If I’m working I start the day with cup of coffee as a catch up on anything that happened overnight, and then create my plan for the day. Early morning is generally the only time of the day that I’m not in a WebEx or Teams meeting or responding to something that’s come up. But in the morning, I’m in control of my own schedule. A cup of coffee is essential.
If I’m on vacation at the Broughton Street House I may wake up a little later, but my morning coffee is still my companion as read through the news, do a little online shopping, or check through my emails. I generally wake up before anyone else in the family, and I do not like waking up and immediately heading off to an activity, preferring a quiet, calm start to set the tone for the day. This is Vacation Coffee.
So when I think about what I want at the Broughton Street House, I know for sure I want vacation coffee. But how do I want to prepare that coffee? So many choices! At home I have a Nespresso, a Keurig, a grinder and French press, a stove top espresso pot, and a drip coffee maker in the attic, you know, just in case. I also have a nice burr grinder.
The Many Ways to Prepare Coffee
I love the Nespresso system. It makes a great tasting cup of coffee, and if you opt for the Nespresso Vertuo line you can have full, rich cups of coffee or intense, bold shots of espresso, depending on your mood. But you won’t find Vertuo pods in the supermarket, and even the original Nespresso pods aren’t always available in the expressions that a guest might want, so if I went that route I’d have to make sure the house is stocked with Nespresso pods at all times, and if we ever ran out we’d leave the guest in the lurch, and I never want that.
A French press cup of coffee is probably the best cup of coffee ever. And they’re super easy to make, if you’ve ever done it before. It is a multi-step process, though. For a great cup of coffee you’ll want the coffee ground properly. You’ll want your water heated to 200 degrees. And you have to let the coffee steep in the press. It feels like that would be asking too much of a guest to get a decent cup of coffee.
So then there’s drip and Keurig. They’re both super easy, fast, and supplies are readily available at any supermarket, convenience store, or Target. This seems like the right way to go, and it’s what I see most hosts doing. I often pack my own K-cups to make sure I’ve got a coffee I know I’ll like. So at the Broughton Street House, we’ll have drip and we’ll have Keurig.
Shopping for Coffee Makers for a Vacation House
I like to use systems and patterns to limit my choices
, otherwise I get overwhelmed. So I read this article from 1chicretreat exploring the effects of blue, so for the purposes of this exercise let’s choose blue! We may not stick with it, but it will give me something to get started.
I’ve never used one of these, but dang they look cool. The reviews are solid and I love the sturdy, retro appearance. It doesn’t look too difficult to figure out, so I’m thinking this might be a winner. Even if it doesn’t make the first cut, I’m going to keep my eye on this one.
This is a bit of a cheat, as I actually have this coffee maker at home. I love the “Strong” brew feature, and the reservoir is big and easy to use. It’s quick to make a cup of good (not amazing, but good) coffee. I keep Peet’s Major Dickason’s nearby and I know that a good cup of coffee will be a stress free experience. I know this one, though. If you want quick, reliable vacation coffee, this is a strong contender!
I want to like this one so much. What a lovely drip coffee maker and I can see myself smiling every morning as I walk into the kitchen to make a pot to take with me out to the courtyard. I have a SMEG toaster that works well and looks amazing and I’m just sure I would love this. However, the reviews note that it’s difficult to add water to the machine, and that gives me pause. If I wake up late and really, really need that first cup of vacation coffee in Savannah, I’m not going to mess around with something that’s hard to use.
At first glance, I like it. But reading the reviews there’s apparently quite a bit of plastic. It’s on my list, but I’m not sure about this one. I don’t just need cute, I need durable. Sorry, reliability issues cannot impact my vacation coffee.
, and I actually don’t need the programmable part, but the blue is cute. The reviews indicate a few problems with filling, but it has a heating pad to keep the coffee warm and I like that idea. If you’re going to have vacation coffee in Savannah, it should stay hot!
I know, I said I wasn’t going to go the French press route at the Broughton Street House. But this one came up in my searches and I really liked it. The details of the handle, with the little thumb grip to help you meter out the pour, the double lines in the ceramic to add interest to the otherwise smooth surface. French presses are durable work horse coffee makers. Maybe this one belongs in the cabinet, just in case. You probably can’t have too many ways to make vacation coffee in Savannah!
Final Call for Coffee
Well, in the end we decided not to go with blue after all. We found this machine at Best Buy (they have the color exclusively) and we thought the copper would complement the Victorian style of the house and go really well. Quick, convenient and easy to use: The best vacation coffee in Savannah.
We don’t close for a few more weeks, but I spend every day thinking about our new vacation home. I imagine the ways we’ll use it and how we’ll make it a great vacation rental. I’ve spent many hours researching the history of the house and documenting what I find here. My plan is for that to be a living page as we learn more about this amazing property. It’s a beautiful Victorian home
, and the design will need to reflect both the house and our own needs and wants.
Interior Design and Victorian Homes
Cathy has been thinking about interior design. While we’re purchasing the property furnished and ready to rent, we want to make changes to reflect our own style. One of our favorite design blogs is run by Mercedes and Karen at 1ChicRetreat. We’re interested in engaging them professionally at some point, but right now we have to make some choices. We can ask for help to get where we want to go, but we need to identify our destination, our “design concept”.
I tend toward period-correct furniture and design choices, but I do like informal. Cathy loves comfortable, accessible design that feels welcoming, unbound by the limits of a specific period. So we swap pins, pictures, and magazine articles in an effort to find a balance we can both agree on. We’re looking for our north star, the thing in the distance we can stay fixed on. As we make the hundreds of choices we’ll face as owners and caretakers of this beautiful property, we’ll need that.
Staying True but Adding Comfort
The house is well furnished with beautiful, period-correct furniture now, but the current style is formal. As beautiful as that is, it feels a little like playing dress up to us. We’re just not formal people. We can’t drastically change, as people have booked this house based on the current design. We wouldn’t want them to arrive and find a house that doesn’t meet their expectations. Since changing out paint and major design elements takes time, we won’t make any major changes during peak season for Savannah. Therefore, most of our thinking is for the future.